|In The Nursery|
Formed in 1981 by twin brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone, In The Nursery has a musical history over 30 years long. In this time they have been busy releasing 28 albums, several singles and doing countless scores for movies and TV series including spots on Interview With A Vampire and recently HBO's series A Game Of Thrones! With this kind of extensive history, it's no surprise that they are definitely a dominant band in the industry and artists to be respected.
Over these years they have developed a sound that started with a backbone of military drums and various percussion. This gradually evolved into a sound that encompassed many classical influences as realized in their first full-length album TWINS. Later other influences were introduced, including military drummer/percussionist Q and multi-lingual vocalist Dolores Marguerite C which have appeared on various works throughout the rest of their history. With these talents on board, the stage was set for their delving into soundtrack music and have been featured on many soundtracks as noted above.
Their skills go beyond these featured albums and soundtracks and have been featured on various remixes for other artists. Their latest full-length album Blind Sound has taken these talents further for another excellent album celebrating their 30 years of existence. They are always hard at work and release new albums and other features quite often. Keep an eye out for the latest and listen to selections on Gothic Paradise radio.
It's hard to imagine writing and releasing as much material as these brothers have done over their 30 years history, and yet they keep going, including not just the albums we feature here, but also their soundtrack work as well. I for one remain in awe as I read through their history and listen to their music. This album comes not only in a standard jewel case, but is also available in a unique embossed tin with liner notes, etc. The music on the album spans a collection of ten stellar pieces that build on the solid foundation of symphonic structures, military percussion and various modern neo-classical styles.
The album starts off with "Artisans of Civilisation" which really sets the tone for the album. It very slowly builds through ambient soundscapes with layers of various haunting strings, guitars until we finally hit the bombastic orchestral compositions giving a long intro until a solid electro-rock anthem develops with solid male vocals fronting the track. This piece received some special treatment with a rare video from this band which is a real treat for music video fans. This track and others with similar structure show how neo-classical symphonic compositions can be combined with modern electronics and good solid beat for an excellent track that falls well within the various genres in the goth/industrial scene.
As the album moves along there is a good variety of various styles of music all falling within the realm of bombastic and neo-classical music with a modern driving electronic twist. For those that enjoy the softer, ethereal side of this band featuring Dolores' sweet vocals are not disappointed as we have a few of these on this album as well. She first appears on the driving piece "Crepuscule" with it's hard-hitting percussion driving layers of various synthesized instruments to form a full orchestra or symphony of sound. Though not featuring any vocals "Coloured Silence" is a real treat with it's soft neo-classical style with distinguishable harp heard above the soft drone of various other instruments. "Crave" is something of an enigma, with it's military drum and thrumming bass going throughout the entire piece, the rest of the music is actually quite ethereal in nature with the smooth female vocals over the layers of classical sounds. After a mix of these enigmatic pieces from the dark and forboding "Trial by Error" to the driving piece "Resonate" we finally come to a close with the soft and beautiful "Overtone". While this band isn't what I would call a goth, industrial or rock band, their combination of military drums with the pulsating electronics underneath the ethereal bliss of neo-classical music, it all comes together so well and uniquely inspiring and captivating. Once again we have another great album here to enjoy for many years to come.
ERA - Review
The legend lives on! I think that's the most appropriate introduction that this band can receive with this, their latest album. Rather than celebrating 25 years in existence with another "best of" compilation of past works, the twins rather put their talents to the test and release instead, probably their best album to date. Once again sticking with a magic number of 10 outstanding tracks, they weave a spellbinding composition throughout each piece that fans of diverse backgrounds and styles will love.
With this album you can really see why these two not only manage to hypnotize us with each new album, but have managed to be included on a number of well-known soundtracks. From the very start the fast-paced, heart-pounding percussion and symphonic orchestrations are amazing. "Blueprint" becomes exactly that, a blueprint for the style and quality of this album as the tribal drums pick up along with a number of modern electronics combined with classical elements for a stunning backdrop to the vocals of Dolores Marguerite C. Fans of this type of epic soundtrack music will love not only this introductory piece, but a number of others from "Silent in Time" featuring Klive's solid vocals, or the moving and uplifting mesmerism of "Vantage" which just gives me goose bumps just listening to it and trying to describe it's beauty over the backdrop of more moving percussion, but softened and endowed with flutes and sweet strings along with Dolores' suave french vocals. And I can't leave out any percussionist's dream track "Dogfight", appropriately titled as a soundtrack piece for an epic battle scene.
Leaving the driving tribal drums and percussion behind for the more ethereal moods is something else these artists are able to do to perfection as listeners to the Gothic Paradise Ethereal Mix will no doubt know by now. This album is no exception and contains some of the greatest ethereal and neo-classical pieces released in quite some time. Right after the onslaught of "Blueprint", we're immediately brought back into a dreamworld of "Futurebuild", soft, lush and atmospheric, presenting Sarah Jay Hawley on vocals, leaving the listener breathless. After a couple stellar soundtrack pieces, "Tempered Wings" brings us around once again to an ethereal beauty. I would like to say that it's Sarah's vocals, though a great part, that makes this such a masterpiece, but without the underlying weaving of pipe organ, violin and piano, it just wouldn't be complete. She once again gives us a taste of absolute beauty a bit later with "Imperfect Design" that is presented in much the same style, a great mix of music providing a backdrop for her excellent vocals.
If I could say that covered the entire album, it would probably be enough to still gain this disc a perfect rating in my opinion, but it doesn't stop there. Also included are some stellar instrumental pieces that you could easily add as a soundtrack to any life full of adventure, love or hope. The finale to the album, "Landlost", is just one of these selections and a fine example of the great talents of these artists and an example to the world of what great music really is and can be. The entire album brings this out, powerful, full of hope, though there are times of despair, in the end it is all uplifting and beautiful, and something that fans of many diverse backgrounds can enjoy.
Praxis - Review
While I'm sure that this album, like many others, is built upon a solid concept or outside influence, it isn't stated in their liner notes. So the listener is left to their own imagination and interpretation of this collection of 10 masterpieces. They continue on with the classical influences, while adding modern electronics, driving beats, bombastic percussion, thoughtful lyrics, beautiful vocals and excellent instrumentals.
These brothers must have an excellent chemistry to go along with their wondeful talents. From the very first driving instrumental track "Praxis" to the last female fronted trip-hop track "Argent" before the remix of "Praxis" as the finale, their talents really shine through. Everything in between is an absolute masterpiece too. The mood swings from somber and thoughtful in "Vocopolis", "Concept" and "Memento" to marching and rhythmic in "Ethics of Belief" and experimental such as the track "Error Theory".
Fans are in for another treat with this album. 10 excellent tracks ranging through all of their popular talents and musical styles. They include guest performers as well and these all add their own style and contributions. Another highly recommended album!